Bassil: Elections Will Not Be Held if 1960s Law is Adopted

Energy Minister Jebran Bassil stressed that the March 8 camp will not be pressured to accept the adoption of the 1960s parliamentary electoral law, reported al-Akhbar newspaper on Saturday.

He told the daily: “The elections will not be held if this law is adopted.”

He accused the other camp of pressuring the March 8 camp into holding the 2005 elections based on the 1960s law and of attempting to pressure it once again ahead of the 2009 elections.

“We will employ all peaceful means to confront this pressure,” declared Bassil.

He noted that “all Christians” rejected the 1960s law, adding that Bkirki had also voiced its opposition to it.

“We are attempting to protect its position and thwart he pressure,” explained the minister.

The government approved in August a draft electoral law based on proportional representation and 13 districts.

The March 14-led opposition and PSP leader MP Walid Jumblat rejected the law, saying that it does not offer fair representation, but instead favors the March 8 camp.

The top three parties of the March 8 majority alliance “totally rejected” holding the parliamentary polls next year based on the winner-takes-all system of the 1960 electoral law, As Safir reported on Monday.

The newspaper quoted sources as saying that a meeting was held between the Hizbullah leader's aide, Hussein Khalil, the assistant of Speaker Nabih Berri, Ali Hassan Khalil, Bassil, who is a member of the Free Patriotic Movement, and AMAL's security official Ahmed al-Baalbaki.

The sources said the conferees “totally rejected” the 1960 law and “expressed openness to discuss amendments to a bill approved by the government”.

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